In the last few months in Pompeii there began to emerge untouched finds, never seen before, which add new elements to the reading of the history of the ancient city. At the Schola Armaturarum a new excavation of the courtyards has been started, never investigated before (the Schola Armataurarum is a building that comes up now like a symbol of the rebirth for Pompeii, where the original frescoes saved since the bombing of 1943 are being restored).
It is here that 14 new amphorae were found. The amphorae were found intact, they contained oil, wine and fish sauces: one of them has painted some inscriptions in which we read numbers that indicated the quantities and, probably, the contained product. The use as a deposit for the environment is confirmed by some visible graffiti on one of the walls of the same, which reaffirm the storage activity. At the end of the excavation, scheduled for the end of December, the amphorae will be relocated in situ as part of a wide project to enhance the "widespread museum" that the Archaeological Park is adopting in several areas of the excavations to re-contextualize the finds in the places of origin.
The exploration of the complete structure of the Schola is not the only operation planned in Pompeii. Also a work in progress is the large excavation site in the Regio V, the so-called "cuneo" (an area of over 1,000 square meters in the area between the Casa delle Nozze d'Argento and the buildings to the left of the Lucretius Frontone alley) from the which is expected to bring to light further structures and findings of private and public environments.
"We are happy with the discoveries that are emerging," says Massimo Osanna, director of the Archaeological Park, who adds: "Pompeii has started a new season, that of intense archaeological research and of the continuation of the site's knowledge. After the opening of new restored domus, the return to the use of entire districts so far inaccessible, thanks to the recovery of the practicability of the almost all urban streets, we can also be focused on the excavation activities, which are flanked by scheduled maintenance and that will allow to provide new hypotheses to the history of everyday life of the ancients. Pompeii is the symbol of a story of redemption. In these years a long and silent work has been done and the possibilities of growth are still extraordinary.
Would you like to discover more about the history of ancient Pompeii? Don’t forget that Pompeii is one of the most significant proofs of Roman civilization and, like an open book, provides outstanding information on the art, customs, trades and everyday life of the past. Book your time-traveling tour through the ancient city with our friendly and prepared licensed guides and a VR headset to see how Pompeii looked 2,000 years ago. View your tour options here. We are waiting for you!
We already talked, in a previous article, about the history of the Temple of Isis (which was a testimony of the influence of other cultures upon roman religion), but the ancient city of Pompeii, like any other Roman city, was full of important religious buildings dedicated to various gods we want to talk about in this article.
The people of Pompeii worshipped several Gods, including Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva—the three principal deities of Rome—as well as Apollo and Venus, the patrons of Pompeii. Each god had a special day which would be made a public holiday, so that the Pompeians could visit the temple for whichever god was being celebrated. The gods were worshipped by processions and priests would make animal sacrifices at the altar which was in the front of the temple. Animal sacrifices reminded the ancient Romans that human beings had a higher place than that of animals but at the same time were much below that of the immortal gods. Special people called augur would take the remains of animals into the temples to predict the future.
TEMPLE OF APOLLO
We know that this temple was consecrated to Apollo thanks to the dedication in Oscan by quaestor Oppius Campanus that was found in the cell. The sacred area is surrounded by a portico with 48 Doric columns, in the centre of which, on a podium in the Italic style, is the actual temple. The interior originally contained a statue of a divinity (not found) and a rock of carved tuff representing the world’s navel, modeled on the one located in the famous sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi. At the bottom of the temple is an altar in Greek Marble dedicated shortly after 80 A.C. by Marcus Portius, Lucius Sestilius, Cneus Cornelius and Aulus Cornelius, quattuorviri of Pompeii.
TEMPLE OF JUPITER OR CAPITOLIUM
This was the main centre of religious life in Pompeii. Situated on the northern side of the Forum, it is dedicated to the highest divinity of ancient times - actually it was built in honour of the Jupter, Juno and Minerva triad - and towers above a wide staircase with two large arches either side which have remained virtually intact. The temple, dating back to the 2nd century B.C., was built in two stages, the second of which, scheduled towards the end of the same century, led to the expansion of the architectural structure.
TEMPLE OF THE PUBLIC LARES
This sanctuary was dedicated to the protector gods of the house and was built by the Pompeians as a token of their gratitude for having escaped the perilous earthquake. Executed in brick, it has a rectangular plan enlivened at the far end by an apse with fine ornamental columns and with niches on either side. The Lares were the tutelary deities of the house and were probably to be identified with the deceased: they protected the property and the family. Each house had a site or a small temple dedicated to them.
Are you interested in Roman history and religion? Come to Pompeii! Join us on a time-travel Pompeii tour through the ancient ruins with a licensed guide + VR headsets to see how Pompeii looked 2,000 years ago. Watch the "How It Works" video here.
The Italian Minister of the cultural heritage, Dario Franceschini, and the Superintendent of Pompeii, Massimo Osanna, received the praise from Rudolf Niessler, General Director of Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission: “The Great Pompeii project - says Niessler - is a good practice, and the Commission regards it as a model of intervention in Europe to administrate the cultural heritage”.
A total amount of 105 million euros, of which 25% as a national share, 76 financed interventions, of which 64 are concluded, 9 are in progress and 3 are waiting for start-up: this is what the Great Pompeii project means. Franceschini says - "it's a good story, and I'm sure the images of Pompeii at night will go around the world". Yes, because thanks to the paths of sounds and lights made for the initiative called "One night in Pompeii", the excavations was open also at night for all the whole summer season. Nighttime visits to Pompeii has been realized thanks to the renewal of the lighting system of the ruins. From the Porta Marina gate to the Basilica 430 old-fashioned lighting fixtures were replaced with new LED ones that allow for energy savings of about 60 percent. There are lots of lights for the whole path which goes through the Porta Marina gate, the suburban baths until you come to the Forum, the main square of the old Roman city. The path of lights is accompanied by sound suggestions, voices and three-dimensional projections.
“The new lighting system of Pompeii - as Franceschini explains - is another important step in the revival of a unique archaeological site in the world, a journey that in three years has allowed to give back to the public 30 domus (houses), to provide Wi-fi in the entire archaeological area and to make a three-kilometer itinerary that allows full accessibility to significant parts of the excavations. Thanks to the play of lights, the lines and shapes of the ruins now shine with a renewed beauty”.
“The rebirth of Pompeii - the minister continues - is also crucial for the international image of the country. Now we must make it a landmark for the development of the entire territory, linking Pompeii with Herculaneum, Stabia and Torre Annunziata. This is one of the most beautiful areas in the world, and it needs to be valued. Pompeii is the visible evidence of how an efficient programming and an optimal use of cohesion policy resources will help to improve, in concrete and even addressing complex situations, the state and the prospects of the whole territory”.
Now the real challenge is to grow in terms of the tourist economy and receptivity. Franceschini hopes that local and private institutions will play their part.
Would you like to discover more about the history of ancient Pompeii? Book your time-traveling tour through ancient Pompeii with our licensed guides and a VR headset to see how Pompeii looked 2,000 years ago. View your tour options here.
In the Regio VII of Pompeii, there was a well-known shop, the Bakery of Popidius Priscus. There were several bakeries in Pompeii, 35 shops in total, which had to feed a population of 10 thousands of people. The latin name of a bakery was “Pistrinum” and often the bakeries also made different kinds of pastries, as well as breads.
The Bakery of Popidius Priscus faces on the vicolo Storto (Regio VII 2,22), in the centre of the city. The shop has a masonry oven, that is similar to any modern bakery and recalls, in its shape, the wood-burning oven in pizzerias. The mill and the bakery were connected because the place of grinding and processing of flour was part of the same production process.
In the courtyard, there are five millstones, which are made of igneous rock and were once turned by men or donkeys for wheat milling. The Millstones were composed by two different components: the base stone, which is conic-shaped and stationary and the runner stone that is movable and has the shape of an hourglass. The friction of the two millstones converted the grains of wheat into flour. Once ready, the flour was mixed with water, thanks to a special "kneading machine". One of these kneading machines was found in another bakery in the Regio IX (12.6) and it’s similar to our modern machines, but naturally it’s hand-operated. The dough was subsequently worked on some special desks to give shape to the product. It was generally the famous Roman round shaped bread, with relief segments.
In the large kiln placed in the center of the building, the bread was then cooked and usually sold in a small adjacent bar counter. In the building of Popidio Prisco the counter was absent; Probably the bread was produced on commission or sold to wholesalers or by street vendors, called “Libani”. The cost of a form of bread was around the 2 axes (the tipical Roman coins).
Bread in Antiquity was a basic nutrition food. Unlike what we can find in our bakeries, soft and fragrant, the antique bread was particularly hard because of low quality flour and insufficient yeast, which, if stored for too long, was found to be acidic. Even for these reasons, bread was hardly consumed fresh: rather it was preferable to put it in wine, oil or soups. The Romans also knew made other types of refined bread, such as the bread with spices, milk, eggs, honey or oil.
In addition to the round shape that the excavations of Pompeii have given back to us, there was also a form of elongated bread. Among the bakery products, also various types of "pizza": soft (in latin “artolaganum”) and crunchy (in latin “tracta”).
Would you like to discover more about the bakery of Popidio Prisco and the others buildings of Pompeii? Book your time-traveling tour through ancient Pompeii with our licensed guides and a VR headset to see how Pompeii looked 2,000 years ago. View your tour options here.
It is one of the most famous frescoes in the city destroyed by Vesuvius, so that it has become, over time, the most classic icon of the pompeian garden: the large fresco with garden scenes from the House of the Golden Bracelet of Pompeii will be exceptionally presented at Boscoreale, a city close to the ancient Roman site, during the evening openings scheduled every Friday in August and on Fridays and Saturdays in September, at a cost of 2 euros.
The beautiful painting came back on the 14th of August from the Grand Palais in Paris, where it was exhibited from the 15th of March to the 24th of July in an exhibition titled "Jardins", with works made by famous artists such as Fragonard, Monet, Cézanne, Klimt, Picasso and Matisse.
The House of the Golden Bracelet presents an innovative and complex architectural form resulting from the fusion between the Roman-Italic model of the atrium house with that of the suburban villa. It was implanted on the western slopes of the Pompei hill, exploiting the old and non-functional structures of the city walls and its articulated architecture is developed on three levels in a panoramic position.
The dwelling takes its name from the discovery of an exquisite golden bracelet of seventy-five grams. During the excavation, in the service sector, in fact, has been found out a small family of two adults and a child. In the arm of one of the two adults was found the precious bracelet which consisted of a rod that ends with two serpent heads. The eyes of the animals are made up of precious stones.
The fresco decorated the central part of the wall to the left of the entrance, and it can be considered among the most accurate garden representations of the third Pompeian style, dating from the first century AD. The care of the details depicting the lush flower garden creates a realistic effect that recognizes different species of plants of the time: oleander, violet, palm, rose, ivy, in addition to the various types of birds, swirling or laid on the branches of the trees, such as the pigeon, the colombaccio, the sparrow and the swallow. The decoration, found in the '70s divided in little fragments, has been recomputed thanks to a complex restoration work.
Night walking in the Vesuvius sites will be available until the 30th of September 2017, from 8.30 pm to 11.00 pm, also at the Villa of Poppea in Oplontis and the excavations of Pompeii. Here there will be two different itineraries: the first one starts from Porta Marina with multimedia projections along the way to the theater district; The second one starts from the Amphitheater square with a visit to the exhibitions "Pompeii and the Greeks", "Pompeii underground" about the Pink Floyd and the exhibition of Moregine frescoes in the Grand Gymnasium.
For a journey through time you will never forget, Homebook your tour through the ruins of Pompeii with Flashback Journey to Pompeii. Click here to view available tours.
Staff at Flashback Journey to Pompeii. Our goal is to bring you up-to-date information on events, continuing archeological excavations and more on Pompeii.